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Poker Blog established in 2003 as the first stop for poker news, poker stories, and bad poker advice.

December 1, 2003

The "Hole-Card" Cam

by Staff

I guess first and foremost, my post here means that I can impress people at parties by telling them that I am in fact, a published author. Actually, I'm not sure if internet blogs count as "being published". If it does, well hell, I guess at this point most people are published authors. Oh well, in true poker player form, always looking for that edge, no matter how slight.

Anyhoo, in the comments for CJ's "Television Explosion" post, Wil (Yes THE Wil) brought up the "hole-card" cam and the impact it may have on the pros whose cards we all get to see.

I had pondered that question for some time.

On the one hand, you'd think it a veritable gold mine of information for one's opponents to study. But apparently, this is not the case for a couple of reasons.

  • Most players at that level have already "scouted" one another and know the player and his tendencies already.
  • The relatively few hands that are revealed on the poker shows are largely insignificant, when compared to the actual number of hands that they play against one another and have observed one another playing.
  • I posed the hole-card cam question question on a forum that I visit regularly, 2+2 Forum, and wanted to post an excerpt from one of the regulars that was particularly interesting... to wit:

    I asked Phil Hellmuth about this, and he said it made no difference to him. He explained that the top players all scout each other regardless, and that the comparatively few hands you see in a WPT or WSOP broadcast don't make all that much difference in their scouting.

    I then asked him if the extensive scouting gave an advantage to newer players -- e.g.: Chris Moneymaker, Phil Ivey when he first started, etc. -- and he said that was very much the case. He was able to win the WSOP main event early in his career by playing extremely aggressively and taking lots of chances to build his stack. Of course, once everyone figured that out, they began calling him down, and he had to start playing solid hands.

    Thanks to CrisBrown for the response. By the way, you should check out the 2+2 forum if you haven't already. Great group of regulars with some great advice and insights.

    Cris also brings up another very interesting point, that being the obvious advantage of having SEEN your opponents play when YOU are the unknown.

    So... just in case... someday... when I'm at the final table at a WPT event or WSOP, I'm gonna be glad I spent all those hours watching poker on television.

    | Poker on TV